Matt Stover: Controlling what you can and the pressure of staying calm

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He’s played for four Hall of Fame and Super Bowl-winning coaches and former Ravens kicker Matt Stover tells Nestor that staying cool in the heat of the battle is the only way a kicker can make it in the NFL. Some words of wisdom in the aftermath of a difficult bad beat for the Baltimore football team.


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Nestor J. Aparicio, Matt Stover

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:01

Welcome home we are wn S T A and 5070 Tacit Baltimore and Baltimore positive we are positively doing something wonderful next week we’re gonna be featuring 100 charities here. We’re not doing radio row anymore and this next guest is a part of radio row many many years as a Super Bowl champion and visitor. We’re doing our crabcake row here next week. We’re gonna begin on Monday at fade Lee’s Tuesday we will be at at Costas and Dundalk Wednesday. Coco’s Thursday at State Fair in Catonsville. I’m wearing my state fair shirt Friday, we will be at Pappas. We’re calling it a cup of soup or bowl doing this for the Maryland food bank. If you come out, we’re gonna give you a free cup or bowl of soup, Maryland crab cream and crab 5050. They got chicken noodle on the menu of Pappus. We’ll do that as well. That’s all next week. It’s all brought to you by our friends at the Maryland lottery conjunction with window nation, and Jiffy Lube featuring 100 charities, you bring the goods for the Maryland Food Bank, we give you free soup, and then you buy your crab cakes and we’ll cry in our beer because the beer is cold. And we went here. I don’t know what it is we lose. You know, I spent all last week booking radio this week thinking I’m not going to radio row. I’m not going to Vegas, when I see in Vegas next week that I won’t see that’ll be there because we’re there and the Ravens are there. And they’re an alum and Matt Stover is our defending champion around here. We have become like friends in the real world since he’s playing DayZ. Imagine that. Well, we’re the same age and we have so much in common. I don’t know we have in common that we both but you’re giving them a break. How are you and I you’re gonna be some voice of reason through all of this because you lost big playoff games and you want some big wins. Do you know? Yeah,

Matt Stover  01:43

we’re gonna tell you. So thanks for the intro. And I appreciate that. You know, when you look at what I’ve been doing, of course, I was having a great time yesterday.

Nestor J. Aparicio  01:52

Why? A lot easier when you have to kick the ball. Right? I was stressed

Matt Stover  01:56

out. It was it was it was fantastic. Right. And I really enjoyed it. The Ravens did a great job of bringing, you know, Todd and myself and also Jared Johnson and Ray and Ed and all of us. And so they’re doing such a great job Matt Liddell and a staff there. So, you know, the connection error is really important. You know, I’ve been out 13 years can you believe that? 13 years I’ve been away from the game of football in 2008 was my last year and if you recall, the last game I ever played for the Ravens was a loss in the AFC Championship game against Pittsburgh Steelers. I hate the Steelers. But it happened and and what does that feel like? It’s the finality of that game where you get back and you get to your house. And it’s like, AP day. You know how it’s so hard to get to the AFC Championship game. And then you get beat and we did get beat by the Steelers that year and pretty good. And this this game, it seems hard because the expectations that this team had the great defense and had a lot more matured enough to be able to get us there Right. And I didn’t see neither one of them the defense plane as well as they should have or could have. And then Lamar as well. It just didn’t happen yesterday and and I’ll tell you the game plan for the Kansas City Chiefs was excellent and they executed better.

Nestor J. Aparicio  03:07

I thought there was a game plan a chip Enos I almost I covered a lot of hockey Matt, before you came along, and this pregame skate and going out and getting into the heads they make movies about that stuff. I you know spagnolo and Andy Reid and Dave tobe know John, they know his strengths and his weaknesses. They know his temperament. They know the players temperament they seem them are pounding the ground when things don’t go well. They know this isn’t adverse and adversity machine here. Like getting behind. They had they have not really come from behind. So to see what would happen when that happens. But more than that, kicking around talkers feel gold ish, I needed to talk to you about that. Because I would think as the you know, the young skinny kicker there that barely looked like a football player. You’re pretty fair game and the other Enzo. 20 minutes for the game. That guy. I bet you got called a few names met probably I’m guessing

Matt Stover  04:02

a lot of times in fact, there were times I was kicking over the Baltimore band, you know, many times in my way, like, I’m trying to get warmed up here. I think what happened there is that it was Tucker’s time to be on that part of the field. And you know, Kelsey, and they were they felt like they weren’t done yet or whatnot. And Tucker was gonna do is it’s my turn. It’s my time. This is what’s on the on the pregame schedule. Because there’s a legit pregame schedule, we’re allowed on the field, and we’re supposed to get the field. And I don’t think that the Kansas City Chiefs really felt like that was true. And Chip, Enos is true, when people would always say, well, they’re grown man, why did why does it have to be so emotional and was that no, it is an extremely emotional game. And the ones who can can capture that and make it a positive like what we did in the Super Bowl. 35 error. You know, with that team, we loved it. We were just we were kind of cool. wishers about it and the team I’ll never forget this when I was playing for the Annapolis colts and 2009 The year after I left here and we were in the Super Bowl, and we were walking out of the tunnel and we had the who was sorry about that. So we had the New Orleans Saints you know come in this way and we were both coming right and meeting in a tone going at the same time. They were chirping the new the New Orleans Saints were chirping like none other. And we were just glad we just sat there and whatever guys you know, you don’t know what’s going to hit you blah blah. They were chirpy, they had a chip on their their shoulder. And I felt like we did too and Super Bowl 35 in that hole. And I’m curious I’m not sure if the Ravens had that or not. That’s not my point. The point is that you got to carry a lot of emotion into the game and you got to have that swagger about you that you’re going to hit him right in the mouth and you know you’re not gonna lose the game.

Nestor J. Aparicio  05:56

You said Lamar maturing enough to lead you play young quarterbacks Oh, quarterbacks legends Hall of Famers Hall pretty good errs. And you had a whole life in New York and Cleveland long before I met you. watch you on TV make big kicks and miss a few too. You know, like that’s the way the game is played. I was watching the game and I watch it on TV these days and I’m sure you’re aware. So I get to hear the commentary and it’s so it is different for me but when Tony Romo was saying Lamar needs to calm his mind, he needs to calm his mind and all of the demonstrative pounding the ground I know you play with Joe Joe came on last week, Joe came back to Baltimore, I’m the only one he sat down with we did a half an hour last week about how much crap he took about being calm and not pounding the ground and not yelling at teammates and having the notion that he didn’t care he wasn’t full of fire. But there’s a delicate balance. I mean, you can win either way. But you cannot lose when you lose. You cannot win when you lose your composure and I thought that the team really and this is going to be brought up in hardball is gonna have to deal they’re all going to deal with it. They lost their cool in the game and penalties problems ro Quan Smith hit and the guy 12 guys on the field, say flowers taunting me just down the line clowny how van Noy headbutting Kelsey and calling them a bi tch. Like she you see all of this, when you’re watching the game on TV, you’re thinking they’re kind of losing their cool. And that that’s tough, because it felt like Kansas City was trying to get it felt like a hockey fight. It felt like they’ve been in these days before they’re gonna poke at them, because that’s gonna neutralize the crowd to some degree too.

Matt Stover  07:31

I’ll never forget Bella check saying, You know what, I’m gonna have a team, we’re gonna be close going through the first half, we’re gonna figure things out, we’re gonna just come down to second half, and we’re gonna let the other team make the mistakes. You don’t want to be the team that makes the mistakes. You want to be the team that is solid, they’re going to hold on to their mental composure. I mean, there were times when belcheck used to help out kind of couple of the defensive linemen to stoke the fire of Orlando Brown, if you remember Orlando, sure. And practice, their job was to piss him off, to get him to retaliate. Right? Because he had to learn how to hold on to his composure in practice. Right. So it was those were intentional things that belcheck would do. And understanding that there’s a fine line between you know, having that chip and then having self control to you’ve got to make sure that you don’t be that guy that makes those mistakes and ended up I mean, 115 yard penalty, kills a drive just completely kills a drive most of the time. So when you go through that as a team Nestor, you’ve got to be mature enough. And I’m not saying that they’re not I am saying though, that if the mistakes you know, as they happened yesterday, you remove four or five of those and really, you shouldn’t have any of those type of penalties. It’ll play a part in the game and it did it’ll kill the momentum and it’ll kill the and it’ll create some frustration on the sideline as well.

Nestor J. Aparicio  09:00

Matt Stover is here. He remembers the first time he met me. I remember the first time I met him on the day that the Ravens played the raiders and won a football game the beginning of this franchise but a long, beautiful friendship between us but more than the relationship with the fans. And you were there with the flying bee when people make fun of the Barney outfits and I had Vinnie on a couple of years ago and we caught up and did all of that. I don’t know I’m not I haven’t Googled you I haven’t Wikipedia you this is just off the back. I tell everybody that had coaches that you played for one by one. Yeah,

Matt Stover  09:32

Bill Purcell. Okay, how would it Bill belcheck Go into the hall. Thank God. Ted March Broda pretty good. Okay, Brian Billick? Uh huh. Want to circle and then Jim Caldwell. So those four so won a Super Bowl. Yeah.

Nestor J. Aparicio  09:48

So, you know, when it comes to time to leadership, I don’t think of you as the skinny little kicker that came in and kick you were like a scientist about all of this. But more than that, you are really in To the head game for yourself for your golf game, the golf game in your foot kicking the ball like the exact same way it’s a head game for you for Justin Tucker kicker. It is a head game you know how to do it you can do it that you physically have the ability to do it and making a 35 yard kick that you’ve made a million times and you miss it that’s all about your head like a golf shot. And yet you played for these really serious leaders that you I don’t know if when you weren’t hearing Bill Bella checks voicing clean when you thought you’d still be the greatest This is a little party that you really thought that at the time right

Matt Stover  10:33

see the gray hairs I’ve got a few from Bella check. That’s for sure Bill Parcells warm, take

Nestor J. Aparicio  10:39

it up. You picked up things in your life. And I know you have but for our audience that you remember, during dark times bad times that you’re like, I learned that football and I learned that from somebody that told me to calm Calm down, calm down, we can make better decisions and more calm will

Matt Stover  10:55

control the controllables. Right? I mean, you know as as an athlete, there’s so much going around you in a football game that you cannot internalize you cannot. So if you ever watched the kicker and stuff, I taught Sam Cooke this and he taught a Tucker Sam was sitting there going and he was on the sideline at first part of the his career with the ravens, he was getting all fired up. And, you know, up there on the side, he

Nestor J. Aparicio  11:16

was a quarterback too in his day too. So he was involved, right?

Matt Stover  11:19

I said, Sam, sit your butt down on the bench and just forget what’s going on out there. When it comes to your time, then that’s when you turn it on. This is a long season, dude, you do not want to get so emotionally wrapped up in these games, you just want to sit back, do your job. And do it extremely well prepared just for what you do. Because if you’re out there holding on to this game emotionally, for three hours, by the time the fourth quarter hits, especially as a field goal kicker because you’re going to come in and win the game. And even watching that you’re emotionally drained by the time it’s time for you to get out there. So you got to preserve that adrenaline and not get into the cortisol talking about science, right? And you got to preserve the adrenaline so you can calm yourself down in that moment, to be able to take a deep breath and execute it without without exposing too much emotion and and missing the kick because I’ve done it. I have done that where I went out there. I’m fired up. I’m on. You know, I’ve been watching the game and I had a hard week personally and, you know, I buried one of my friends and I got out there and it was a shanked it wide left it was in 2007 against the Miami Dolphins if you remember so that I pulled it left and it was I was all jacked up on Mountain Dew. And not literally, but you know, the emotional piece came to it. And I just did not react properly in that moment. And I missed a field goal.

Nestor J. Aparicio  12:36

Matt Stover is here. I mean, well, yeah. I would never ask you about one you miss. I tried to ask you about the ones you make. But

Matt Stover  12:43

I remember the missus bro. I remember the missus. We all do, don’t we? I mean, it’s a truth. Right?

Nestor J. Aparicio  12:47

Absolutely. So in regard to this Miss for the franchise and its future and where they are and how harshly you get judged. When you’re second best. And you’re and you lose your composure. You don’t play your best game after playing, obviously a flawless season because they screwed up a couple games they shouldn’t. They shouldn’t last at all, quite frankly, they were at elite at the two minute warning and every football game. I mean, it’s kind of like even the Colts your great colts teams didn’t do that you were there. I would say for them and picking this up. This gets harder and harder. And I think it gets heavier to carry it up the hill for Lamar for John for all of them, because this was doesn’t get better than playing at home with a pie with full health as a favor with a decent weather data when to go to a circularity. Right. Well, I’ve been mentioned in the Eminem song opportunity comes once in a lifetime, right? Yeah, the opportunity

Matt Stover  13:39

was there and it’s going to be very painful for them today without question. I would say this, you know, John’s a great guy got a great coaching staff. You’ve got a team that was highly very, very mature. But let me say this defense when they can’t get their offense off the field, right, the time of possession I don’t know what it was at the end of the game, but it was incredibly one sided. And our offense didn’t have the opportunity that defense did not play up to their my expectations. And you know, you go back to Super Bowl 35 And the defense continued game in and game out. Nesta and they continued to play at the highest level and they did what they they played to our identity. Our defense had to do a better job against their their offense and they didn’t get it done yesterday that’s really where I felt like the game was lost more than it was Lamar. You

Nestor J. Aparicio  14:30

played with greats in Peyton boy what what what what this guy is doing at 28 four Super Bowls now chance to win a third one and we think he hadn’t done his play the road playoff game he’s to win Oh on the road now in Buffalo and Baltimore beating Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson I mean there’s there’s a lot to be said for absolutely losing to him and no shame in losing to him and Andy rate. Well, that’s

Matt Stover  14:54

not how this defense sees it, and they saw themselves as an elite defense. I really believe that I And if I’m that team, I would take that on the chin. From the defense perspective. Yes, the offense turned the ball over three times. Of course, you cannot turn the ball over in those situations. It happened. You know, one was on the goal line, unfortunately, you know, he’s trying to make a play and it didn’t happen. But, you know, Lamar was back in the pocket and gets it stripped. I mean, the guy the left tackle gets beat. Yeah, those are mistakes. You can’t do either. But if you really look at the time of possession in my mind, we beat I was on the New York Giants and we beat the Buffalo Bills and Super Bowl 25. And the whole premise of that game was to manage time of possession. And Jeff Hostetler and Otis Anderson did that with a running game and a short little passing game that they had during the course of that Super Bowl. Jim Kelly had the ball for like no time, and they didn’t score enough points because he didn’t have the ball. That’s how I see a lot of yesterday going on as well. Hard

Nestor J. Aparicio  15:51

to neutralize the greatness of Ted March abroad in the Kagan offense. So Matt, but you know, people forget that, you know, you’re on the other side of that when that was, you know, that’s what it’s all about the kicker, right? Oh, yeah, for sure. Absolutely. Match the overseer. Tell me what you’re doing in the real world. And we saw you running around down at the Purple Palace on Sunday, being the grizzled grade veteran now you? You look dignified. wife likes it. So, Mr. cated? How am I working all the debonair you want me to go with all that’s all that’s common for me? I mean, it’s come out a year. But you know, I got the long hair going now, you know, so yeah,

Matt Stover  16:28

just proves my age. I’m 56 As of Saturday on January 27. Which, my that’s nice. I love it.

Nestor J. Aparicio  16:37

I’m 55. And Marvin keeps thinking I’m dying. And I said, Marvin, it wouldn’t be great here. If I was dying it What’s wrong with you? You know?

Matt Stover  16:45

Oh, yeah, my degree. All right. But yeah, I had my first grandchild on my birthday on Saturday. So your grandfather? Yeah, my grandfather and

Nestor J. Aparicio  16:57

your personal life dude. wouldn’t have known. Yeah, so

Matt Stover  17:00

that happened. She’s my whole family’s down in Texas. Now. You know, my wife and I grew up there. So I’m down in Dallas, I’m running the players philanthropy fund still. That’s been amazing. Being able to assist athletes and other individuals running their their foundations, they run it through us and, you know, ad reads, foundations uses the players Lampi fund, and we do all the back office. So Nestor, it’s been a blast to be able to help make this world a better place. And we take care of all the stuff that most people don’t want to and then in the charitable world, which is the back office, all the finances, the bookkeeping, and all that and we figured it out. And so the players like the fund is thriving. And so that’s my day to day work and got a great staff. And so right now I’m talking to you from Towson, in the Exchange building with a players plant the fun is and so we were there and I’m here with my staff, and we’re having a great day.

Nestor J. Aparicio  17:51

Well, you’re off the hook next week for a couple of Super Bowl in the future. However, this is going to be my Jerry Lewis. You know, I’m going to be doing this every year during Super Bowl week. We’re going to call it a couple of Super Bowl. We’re like your coats next year. We’re gonna do food this year. See how we get going with that. But the bad news is our boys Slappy Col. Richardson is gonna get stuck coming out at some point because he lives here. And you know you You’re poor alums that live here you’re subjected to me are more subjected to me. Brad, you’re running from me. I’m looking for you, Brad. You know, so I got some I got some of you guys skipping out on me. But ah find all of you. Hey, dude, love you appreciate you all these years together. It’s a tough one. And you know like, I hope we all live long enough to win a World Series and a Super Bowl because now the Orioles are back in play. We we at least have that the look forward to win a couple of weeks around. mid last year was unbelievable. Matt 32 years on the air right. I’ve lived here my whole life. I’m 55 first time that we’ve won the baseball division and football in the same year. So I mean, let’s thanks for ahead. Thanks.

Matt Stover  18:59

It’s good, but it’s like the culmination of all that and then you don’t want either. It’s like

Nestor J. Aparicio  19:05

he did have to bring that up. Did you while you’re in Dallas where they had a burning? Yeah, I got all Matt Stover is here. Find him at the players philanthropy fund or find him if you see a guy on York Road that looks like Matt Stover probably is to go out and say hello to number three. Hey, I appreciate you be well alright. Do you brother, Matt Stover, he number three in your program number one in your heart as always doing good stuff for charities. And that’s what we’re featuring all next week. It’s a couple of Super Bowl. It’s crabcake row featuring 100 Like literally the exact thing that max over does 100 charities to illustrate how many good things are going on in Baltimore despite the fact that we didn’t make the Super Bowl and if you bring anything good for the Maryland Food Bank, we give you a free cup of soup Super Bowl. So say that real fast three times and we’ll see how it goes. I am Nestor we are wn st am 1570, Towson Baltimore. And we never stopped growing our hair loss On top of Baltimore positive stay with us

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